An unprecedented coalition of community members, educators, parents, and students at LA Unified have convened a new task force to urgently address why African-American youth continue to have the lowest test scores and why black students and families continue to feel ignored by the education system.
Black students persist in having LA Unified’s highest rates of dropouts and suspensions. They are most likely to be identified as needing special education services, and they are least likely to be identified as gifted, district administrators reported at the task force’s first meeting.
“This group has been the most underserved, and we need to be audacious when we take on this challenge,” said Robert Whitman, special projects director of the district’s Access, Equity, and Acceleration Department, who convened the new Advisory for African American Students task force last month.
Whitman said that while it may be widely known that economically disadvantaged black youth are not achieving high scores, it is not limited to just the poor. “What stands out to me is that even the non-economically disadvantaged black students are not achieving in English and math. And there is a disproportionate amount of discretionary suspension among black youth, and black students and their families do not view themselves as valued stakeholders.”
Read the whole story at LA School Report.